BrewChief Does Albuquerque
An Outing in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Posted on 1/4/2014 by Chops
BrewChief's visit to Albuquerque, New Mexico ended up being a magical experience. As a resident of North Carolina, I have easy access to a wide array of high quality local craft beer. It's something I have grown accustom to over time and I sometimes take it for granted. I readily admit that I went into my Albuquerque visit with a sense of lowered expectations. This is not an area that immediately comes to mind when one muses on the American craft beer scene. But wow, talk about a well hidden gem. My expectations were beyond exceeded.

My first stop was at the Chama River Brewing Company, a local favorite. Chama River is well known for their high quality brews and they have a crop of GABF medals to back it up. I enjoyed their flagship Jackalope IPA and a special Bourbon Barrel Aged version of their Vanilla Creme Ale. On top of a fantastic beer selection, they also serve an array of delectable Southwestern cuisines. Chama River is definitely worth a visit if you happen to be in the area.

Up next was the La Cumbre Brewing Company. These guys seem to be the "no nonsense" brewers of the area. They brew excellent beer. They serve excellent beer. If you want food or entertainment, go somewhere else. Their brew pub embodies this attitude and is hard focused on brewing delicious nectar. I sampled their flagship Elevated IPA (a world class version) along with their Pater's Belgian Pale Ale. After a tour of the brewery itself, I left with the distinct impression that Albuquerque knows beer.

My final stop was at the Marble Brewery, arguably the region's most popular craft brewery. On top of being a trusted source of quality beer, their brew pub is also one of Bryan Cranston's favorite hang out spots (Walter White of Breaking Bad). I saw no Bryan that day, but I did assume the role as "the one who drinks". I sampled their flagship Marble IPA as well as their Double White Ale, basically an imperial witbier. Both were delicious and I enjoyed drinking them in Marble's diverse and welcoming atmosphere.

I was seriously blown away by the quality of Albuquerque's craft beer scene. I found not a single beer that was anything short of delicious. It was startling in a way, almost like discovering an oasis that nobody knew about. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and I definitely plan to return in the future. Albuquerque is well known for several things, be it Breaking Bad or the University of New Mexico. And in this beer geek's humble opinion, craft beer should be an additional shining star.

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